Sir Joseph John Talbot Hobbs personal diaries, Vol. II (14 January 1916 to 31 January 1917)

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at the Railway Station Hotel. Reached STRAZEELE where we are (D.A.H.Q) billeted. at 1500 - went on the MERRIS & reported to D.H.Q. STAZEELE is a small Hamlet. I have Sitting Room 2 Tables & 5 Chairs for an Office & bedroom about 10 x 10 on first floor - very comfortable bed. fine clear but cold day. Could hear heavy guns booming all night - Apl 9th Visited Corps H.Q's at BAILLEUL at 1100 with reference to Group Area now in possession of the 35 Div which we are to occupy. I stated I could be ready to take over by 20th inst. 'X' (On the way out had collision with 2 light horsemen at sharp turn in the Road at MERRIS. One Horse had to be shot, the other thrown down. Col. Brown riding in back of car had narrow escape had his arm badly bruised. Mud guard & 2 lamps smashed, hood damaged & panel work damaged on car also. Axle bent & Steering gear deranged) After leaving BAILLEUL went to lunch with B.G.R.A. 35 Div (Gen STAVELEY) Lt Col BROWN & Maj MILES with me. at DIV. ART. H.Q's at SAILLY. After lunch went with B.G.R.A. & Group Commdr Lt Col. BEDFORD. over area we are to take over. (personnel 2.O & 30 O.R. each Batt.) on 11th inst. visited Batteries O.P's etc in Area finished at 1800. returned to BIALLEUL [BAILLEUL] at 1840 & reported to Staff Officer R.A. (Major JOHNSTON) got back to Billet at 2000. My first impression of the "Front" here is that its a good deal easier than at ANZAC. Certainly the section we are allotted to seems fairly peaceful but if we are allowed we can stir things up a good deal. [Page] 35